Solar Cover on a free form pool.

reekoApril 3, 2008

Does anyone have experience with a solar cover and reel for a free form pool. My pool is 24 x 44 at the widest points. I'd like to get a solar cover but I'm not sure how a reel system would work with size and shape pool. Does the reel have to be at least 24' wide or can the cover be folded before it's reeled in?

Thanks for any info..

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I also have a freeform. I don't have a solar cover, but if and when I get one I may try a "Solar Roller" (see link below). I don't think it would be as convenient as a typical reel, but reels don't seem to work very well with oddball shaped pools.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solar Roller

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Hate it. We never use our solar cover because it is a royal pain with our freeform pool. One person cannot do it alone. It is a big bulky mess. It took up a lot of space on the deck by the steps. I think it might have been better if it was rolled from the deep end. Also on the few times I used it the first year it was covered with bugs when I went to roll it up, and the bugs ended up the pool, which meant skimming before getting in. It seemed the bugs were attracted to the cover. One time when I moved the reel a black snake came out of the cover. I am not freaked out by snakes at all, but others might have been a bit horrified.

I don't like that we are not using a cover. I would love to have the pool warmer, but this cover and reel do not work for us. We have a 16x34 freeform.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:58PM
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I have that solar roller and like it. I've never used a reel, but I didn't want one of those big things on my deck - seems like it would just by an eyesore and get in the way. Splitting the cover makes both halfs pretty managable, and you can then put each half in whatever out of the way place you want.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Thanks Jmas, I appreciate the feedback from someone I know versus just reading praise on the manufacturer's web site :-) One side and end of our pool is blocked by the slide & stone work and I didn't want a reel on the other side or end, so it looks like a good setup for us. Once my fence is built (next week) I'll have a good place to store the rolled up cover halves where they can't be seen.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:20PM
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Sorry. tresw, I meant I hate my typical reel set-up. The roller jmas has seems much better. Got carried away in my rant.....

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:29AM
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Hey Boby, I assumed you were talking about a typical reel setup as that was what Reeko asked about originally in this thread. Thanks for your feedback as well! I haven't been considering a standard reel just because I don't have a place to put it next to the pool without blocking access to the pool.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Thank you all for th replies. Boby you have confirmed my concerns on using a reel. Tresw, I have seen that Solar Roller and it's looking like that may be the solution.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:43AM
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I have a free form pool 42X22 and have used a standard reel for my solar covers for over 25 years. The key is to have the reel be as long as the widest part of your pool. To make the cranking easier, spray silicone lubricant into the real housing every so often. I put rubber rollers on mine and roll it away under a seat bench for storage.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:11PM
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reeko - I think that the max size for the solar roller is a 20X40. You may wish to contact them and see if they can look at your pool design and determine if it can work. If you send an e-mail using the website, the guy that responds (David) is the ownew/inventor. He should certainly be able to advise whether it would work for you.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I have a 41' free form pool and I don't use a reel for my solar cover.

To take the cover off, I take a pole brush and fold one side in to reduce the width of the cover by approximately 1/3. Then I take an aluminum pole, walk into the shallow end and wrap the end of the cover around the pole, like a window shade around the roller. Then I continue to manually roll the cover around the pole, keeping it straight and fairly tight. When it's all rolled up, I set it on the deck, get out, drain the water out and put it away out of the sun. It takes less than five minutes. To put it back on, the process is simply reversed.

I find this very easy to do, but it probably won't be for everyone. My wife and stepdaughter seem to have a struggle on their hands when they do it.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 5:44PM
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We also tried the idea of rolling the cover onto a PVC pole and setting it on the deck. The added problem is that we have a raised wall on two sides of the pool. My husband can lift the cover and pole together, but there is no way that I can do it alone. The cover is useless just sitting in the garage, so we are going to cut it into four pieces and set int on the pool like a puzzle. The individual pieces won't be a problem to take out of the pool, and I don't think that the small spaces where they meet will release too much heat. They can also be thrown over our brick wall and hosed off to help with the dirty cover problem. I'll let you know how it goes. Some floating solar panels I saw advertised gave me the idea.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:30AM
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I have a freeform fiberglass pool that is 14 x 32. I fold in the long sides to create a straight line on each long side of the pool. Then starting at the shallow end (my skimmer at at the deep end) I roll/flip the cover towards the deep end. Close to the end i flip the skimmer section back towards the deep end. Then grab an end and pull out. Then just slowly tilt it towards your runoff angle and the water inside will flow away from the pool. I can pull it off in about 90 seconds. To put it on you just do the reverse which takes me about 2 min. Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:20PM
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We tried again. We too have a freeform pool. I used our old solar cover a few times the first year, once or twice the next year and then gave up. It was the typical medium blue color and gave us a degree or two gain, mostly in the top 10 inches. This time we bought a clear cover. We attached it at the middle, which is a little weird. When it is just me swimming I leave the reel there in the middle and swim under it. When there are more people we can roll it down past the deep end. The big thing is IT IS WORKING! Other summers we had only a few days where the pool stayed above 80 degrees. Yesterday the pool was 89 when we swam at 4:30. Today at 7 am it was still 87. I am amazed.

We are in Central PA.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Las Vegas NV and Roseville CA are two cities offering $50 pool cover gov't rebates. We are happy to be part of the water conservation efforts.

Only 200 pools using covers can save up to 3.5 million gallons of water every year (a city tank).

The 1/2 pool covers and integrated rolling system is the only thing that works with the freeform odd-shape pools, and smoothly rolls and covers up in just seconds. It pays for itself in extending the life of the cover and saving water.

Sun Rings is another product like lilly pads that float on the water, but takes over 10 mins to fish them out of the pool while the rollers work in under 30 seconds, and you can leave the rolls in the pool to stay cool, whereas the Sun Rings stack on your deck like hotcakes (and cook in the sun), plus take up deck space, blow around, etc.

But you make up your own mind after seeing the video, and to the contrary you won't see a video long enough to watch someone fish all the Sun Rings out of the pool.

Here is a link that might be useful: Watch the video ...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 12:50AM
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